668: The 9 Hallmarks of The Hard Road (and how to take the easy one instead)

Oct 14, 2019

Do you ever feel like you’re on the ‘Hard Road’, and that maybe life is harder than it should be? Each time you make changes, it’s so hard to progress (even just a little). It always feels like an uphill battle, and often as though life is out to get you…

What if I told you there was another way, and that YOU get to choose to take the Hard Road or the easier one. Because the reality is, it is your choice. You get to choose, and you always have had this choice.

In today’s episode I talk about the 9 Hallmarks of the Hard Road, and the alternatives you can choose to take to enjoy the easier one: the road where you do progress, you do win and you do grow. 

I’ve written an article that accompanies this, which overviews these 9 Hallmarks of the Hard Road. Whether you choose to read or listen (or both), I hope it inspires you to take control of the path you take.


  1. Why taking the Hard Road is always a choice, even when it doesn’t feel like you have any control over it
  2. How this is one of the most common issues I come across with my clients (and how I too struggled with it for years)
  3. What the 9 Hallmarks of the Hard Road are (and how each one holds you back and prevents you from fulfilling your true self)
  4. The 8 Hallmarks of the Easier Road (and how you can choose each one of these whenever you like)
  5. How these choices are never a one-time deal, but rather you need to commit to choosing them again-and-again (often, on a daily basis)
  6. The damage comparing yourself to others has on you, your mindset and the path you choose to take
  7. Why mindset is always more important than skillset (always!)
  8. How everything discussed in today’s episode is a practice, but it’s one inside your control at all times


Do you ever reach the end of the day, lay in bed and wonder if all “this” is worth it?

… like you’re sprinting on the beach, the sand slipping under your feet.

… as though you’re going uphill, no matter what you seem to do.

… that everything is that much harder than it needs to be.

It feels out of your control. Life has you on the Hard Road, and nothing you seem to do makes a difference. It’s tough. You want to make changes in your life, but each time you do you get nowhere fast.

At least, not without A LOT of effort!

Maybe it’s to do with your diet or health…

Maybe it surrounds time management or work…

Maybe you’re trying to focus on your relationships…

Whatever it is, making changes in your life seems much harder than it should be. It runs you down, and maybe like I used to, you lay in bed at night exhausted; you sometimes even want to quit.

You’re on the hard road. 

Some people are on the easy road.

But YOU are not one of them!

Yeah, I’ve been there. I speak to people all the time who are also on the hard road. They tell me how painful it is, and that most of it’s out of their control. I nod along because I understand. 

I used to feel like this… 

The problem is, this isn’t true. Life on the hard road is a choice. If you find yourself on it, it’s because you chose it. That may sound unfair, but it’s true. In this article I’ll explain why, introducing you to the 9 Hallmarks of The Hard Road.

Each one’s a choice. You can choose NOT to do each one of these. 

Once you do, you’ll step off the hard road and onto a much easier one.

(note: I’ve written this article on the back of my most recent episode for the Primal Potential podcast. For greater context, examples and personal stories, I encourage you to listen to this episode in full)

1: Valuing Novelty and Intensity Over Consistency

I see this in my clients all the time. I used to struggle with this one too, especially around food, diets and weight loss. There’s always a new trend or shiny object to follow. Each one promises you success, so you drop everything and dive into this new, guaranteed method / program / technique / whatever…

The new thing is always the more attractive thing.

Especially true when this new thing promises you overnight success. The problem is, each time you choose novelty or intensity over consistency, you place yourself on the hard road.

Success almost always comes down to turning up day-after-day. Commiting to consistency is all you need, so the longer you bounce from one idea to another, the longer you’ll stay on the hard road.

2: Putting Off Until Later What You Don’t Feel Like Prioritizing Today

We’re all guilty of procrastination. You know what you need to do, but you don’t feel like it so you put it off until later. As though you’ll feel like doing it this evening, tomorrow or next week.

Come on. You know what happens when you do this… you just reach tomorrow and go through it again.

It’s short term gain that produces long term pain. The longer you put off what you need to do now, the longer you’re stay on the hard road is. Sure, it may be easier to put it off until later. 

But it keeps you stuck where you are right now.

Stop putting it off. Do what you have to. Get it done… NOW!

3: Focusing on Your Skillset More Than Your Mindset

I recently spoke with a client who was stuck. She couldn’t decide whether she should join a new fasting course she wanted to take. She knew investing into it meant she couldn’t invest into other areas of her life.

She also told me how she had been struggling to show up and consistently make the right decisions. She knew what she needed to do, but kept coming up with excuses and putting things off.

So I said to her: “it sounds like you have a mindset issue, not a skillset one. I’m not sure learning more about fasting will help you achieve your goals.”

In an instant, she knew what she had been doing and knew what she had to do next. Oftentimes, the biggest barrier preventing you from making progress is within you. 

Learning more about a skill does nothing but distract you from the root cause.

You want to learn more, instead of DOING something about it.

4: Investing Energy into The Problem Instead of Acting on The Solution

This used to get me all the time. When something bad happened, I’d focus all my energy on the problem.

  • Who was to blame.
  • What the mistake was, and who made it.
  • What it would cost, both time and money.
  • How bad it was, and how it would set me back.

You become a victim, and reserve all your energy for playing it. Why? What’s the point? 

Surely it’s better to draw a line on the problem and focus all your time, energy and effort into the solution. 

You can’t change the past, but you do get to choose what happens next…

5: Making Yourself a Victim of Factors Outside Your Control

Speaking of making yourself a victim…

So often this is a choice. Something outside of our control happens, and we play the victim. 

  • Someone else says something or does something to us.
  • Some random situation happens, and it impacts us.
  • Something happens and it releases anger, fear or some other emotion…

If you can’t control it, don’t focus your energy on it. 

Let go of it. Don’t be its victim. 

All you do is make life harder for yourself and stay on the hard road for longer. 

Control what you can, and let go of the rest.

6: Making Decisions Based on Emotions Instead of on Principle

This is a big one. We’re all human, and we cannot control our emotions (at least, not in the moment). If something happens and you feel mad, sad or bad, you feel it.

But what happens next is on you.

Don’t base your decisions on these emotions. An area where this affects many people is eating… when stressed or upset, you turn to the cookie jar. 

You don’t want the cookie. You know the cookie won’t help. 

But the cookie is what you want right now, because you let your emotions make your decisions.

This keeps you on the hard road. 

You need to make decisions based on clear principles (more on how do this soon).

7: Trying To Do Everything Right Instead of Focusing on Doing The Right Thing

Ever feel so overwhelmed by all the things you want to do that you end up doing nothing?

Yeah, me too!

A big tipping point for me was realizing I don’t have to do everything, and that it doesn’t have to be perfect. So instead of trying to do everything right, focus on doing the right thing.

  • What can you do right now that will get you closer to your goal?
  • What small step can you take in the right direction?
  • Which task will create the biggest impact?

Focus on doing the right thing, instead of overwhelming yourself by trying to do all things right.

8: Talking Yourself into an Excuse Instead of Talking Yourself into Progress

I come across this with my clients all the time.

You want to make a change, but in the beginning it’s so huge and overwhelming that you make one excuse after another why now isn’t the right time. 

Instead of building yourself up, you put yourself down.

It’s crazy, but we have all done it. We want to see huge progress, but we know it will take time and that worries us. So we put it off and create a few excuses, and take the scenic route on the hard road.

Do something today, however small. Progress a little each day. One step after another.

In time, you get to where you need to get to.

9: Focusing on The Journeys and Opinions of Others Ahead of Your Own

This is a big problem these days. We’re connected to so many people at all times, it’s hard to cut through the noise. You see people live a life you want to live. They have the body you desire, or the lifestyle or just seem happier and more relaxed.

You compare your journey to theirs.

Sometimes you may even try and copy them.

The problem here is:

    1. You don’t get the full story (only an edited version of their life)
    2. You are YOU!

Your journey is yours to own. Being true to you and your journey is all that matters. 

The 8 Hallmarks of The Easy Road

All this is a choice. It may not seem it at times, but these 9 Hallmarks of The Hard Road are a choice. You can choose to make them and take the hard road, or make your life easier…

  1. Choose To Value Consistency More Than Intensity and Novelty
  2. Win The Moment You Are In (Leave Yesterday and Tomorrow to One Side)
  3. Commit To Improving Your Mindset Every Day
  4. Invest Your Energy Into Solutions Instead of Validating The Problem
  5. Practice Principle Based Responses Instead of Emotionally Infused Reactions
  6. Focus on Doing The Right Thing Instead of Doing All Things Right
  7. Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Work
  8. Cease Every Opportunity to Break Away From past Patterns

These are the alternatives to the hard road.

I talk about all of these in the episode that accompanies this article. I encourage you to listen to it in full, not only to gain greater insights into the Hard Road (and why so many of us spend longer on it than we need to), but to learn how to choose the easy road instead.

The 8 Hallmarks of The Easy Road are easier to achieve than you may think. 

Listen to the episode in full so  can show you how!


Thanks for reading. To gain greater insight into the 9 Hallmarks of The Hard Road and how you can choose the easy road instead, please listen to the latest episode of the Primal Potential podcast in full.

I cover everything in greater detail, as well as share lots of stories and examples.

Plus, I’ve only touched upon the 8 Hallmarks of The Easy Road here. To truly embrace them, I believe you need to listen to how I describe each one. They’re easier to attain than you may think, and if there’s one thing I hope you leave with today, it’s the ability to choose the easy road for yourself.

I know how hard the hard road is. My hope is that you’ll choose to step off of it today 🙂

Thanks again for listening and reading. If you have any questions about the hard road, add them in the comments below. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and connect with me on social media.






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